Exporting during COVID-19

COVID-19 restrictions are impacting on Australian exporters and tourism businesses. You can check the Austrade website to stay up-to-date on available assistance, export advice and the status of overseas markets.

Assistance for agriculture and fisheries exporters

Under the International Freight Assistance Mechanism, the Australian Government is helping agriculture and fisheries exporters by partially offsetting the costs of airfreight and ensuring they can get produce on flights. Find out if your exports are eligible and register your interest in freight assistance.

Help with overseas marketing costs

Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) reimburse exporters and tourism businesses for some of the costs of marketing their products and services around the world. Recognising the pressure that COVID-19 is placing on exporters and tourism businesses, the Government recently increased funding for the EMDG scheme. Find out more about Export Market Development Grants.

Financial Support for Australian exporters during COVID-19

As the Government’s export credit agency, Export Finance Australia provides a range of flexible loans and guarantees for exporters or businesses in an export-related supply chain affected by COVID-19. For more information, you can call 1800 093 724 or visit the Export Finance Australia website.

Exporting is when you produce a good or service in your home country and sell it to customers or other businesses in another country.

What you can export


Australian businesses export a variety of products or services. Export products or services can include:

  • coal, iron ore and gold
  • natural gas
  • education services
  • cereals
  • machinery including computers
  • wool and animal hair
  • tourism services
  • meat and beef

Consider what exporting regulations you need to comply with to export your product or service.

Export goods online

Exporting online can be a cost-effective way of entering the overseas market. More people buy and sell online than ever before, so it’s a good way to begin exporting. Online exporting can also allow small and large businesses to compete on an equal footing.

Benefits of exporting


Exporting can provide your business with benefits that include:

  • increase productivity
  • increase in sales
  • increase in profit
  • new customers and clients
  • better growth prospects

Successful exporting takes careful planning and commitment. You'll need to make sure you meet exporting requirements and regulations and that you have a solid export strategy in place.

Regulation requirements


As long as you comply with all local, national and international legislation, you can start exporting today.

When your business exports products or services, you may need to comply with additional legislation and regulation. When you do business across countries, you must also make sure you comply with legislation in all countries you do business with. This may include additional reporting obligations.

Customs requirements for exporting

You may need to contact custom authorities when you export goods. It’s important to check if there are any custom requirements on the goods you’re exporting.

To export items from Australia, you’ll need to comply with customs regulations.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) manages the customs requirements on any goods you export. ABF also provides a list of prohibited goods you can’t export from Australia or need a permit to export from Australia.

If you export agricultural products, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment provides export controls and assistance on the exporting goods from Australia.

Support to help you export your goods


The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) can provide you with customised services to help you do business in overseas markets and understand their regulations and business practices.

Try Austrade’s new beta digital services to help you find and research export markets:

  • Find export markets is a toolkit that shows you how to select markets and diversify your business strategically. It includes step-by-step activities, links to data sources and tips from expert advisers. The tool is currently for food and agriculture businesses but more sectors will be coming soon.
  • Export market profiles provides insights about your industry’s trending export markets. This includes opportunities, trends and regulations. It’s initially focused on the Japan food and agriculture market. It will soon expand to include other key markets and sectors.

Are you a service provider doing business or looking to do business overseas? Try the Global Business Support Finder.  You'll find tailored information based on the service you offer and where you want to do business.

Financial assistance programs

Financial assistance available from the federal government includes:

  • Austrade – to provide help for your business to succeed overseas.
  • Duty Drawback Scheme – enabling exporters to obtain a refund for customs duty paid on imported goods that are subsequently exported.
  • Tradex Scheme – providing exporters with an up-front exemption from Customs duty and GST for goods imported into Australia and then exported within one year.
  • Export Market Development Grant – helping Australian businesses get more exposure in international markets, allowing them to develop brand recognition and form relationships with potential customers.
  • Women in Export – supporting women achieving international business success.
  • Export Finance Australia – providing finance and insurance solutions to help Australian exporters overcome financial barriers when growing their business overseas.

Like all business ventures, selling and promoting your product overseas incurs costs and risks. You can search our grants and assistance for information on assistance available to exporters.

State and territory support and assistance


State and territory governments also offer financial assistance to Australian exporters:

Read next

Find out how to develop your export strategy to help you take the next step in taking your products or services overseas.